New staff appointments at Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast

Elizabeth Perkins and Melissa Hunter.

Elizabeth Perkins and Melissa Hunter.

The Limestone Coast’s capacity to attract investment, build on infrastructure and deliver jobs within the disability sector will be increased with two new senior appointments at Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC).

Elizabeth Perkins is the new manager of Investment Attraction and Infrastructure, while Melissa Hunter will co-ordinate the new Disability Workforce Hub funded through the Department of State Development.

RDALC CEO, David Wheaton, says the appointments will further strengthen the organisation going into 2018.

“We’re making strong progress in rolling out the objectives of both the 2017-2020 Regional Roadmap and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and our two new team members will add to the depth of experience that we can call upon to facilitate this regional development and growth,” he says.

Originally from Penola, Investment Attraction manager Elizabeth Perkins has spent the past six years working for the University of Queensland as the manager of the Heron Island Research Station.

Elizabeth has extensive experience in project management for infrastructure projects and funding acquisition.

“I am thrilled to return to the region, and am really looking forward to working with the community and developing a great understanding of what is needed in terms of infrastructure and investment,” she says.

“(My predecessor) Bruce Rodda has been a fantastic help in getting me up to speed on projects, and I look forward to continuing his work.”

The new Disability Workforce Hub Co-ordinator, Melissa Hunter, previously worked as a Community Engagement Team Leader with Natural Resources South East, and brings strong project management and stakeholder engagement skills to her new role.

Melissa says the Hub will operate as a ‘One Stop Shop’ model for organisations, workers and job seekers looking for support and assistance across the disability sector.

“Demand for disability services in the Limestone Coast is expected to grow from 654 clients to around 1300 participants under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and in order to meet this 99 per cent increase, the local workforce will increase from 175 FTE workers to around 450 FTE workers by 2018-19,” Mrs Hunter explains.

“This represents a workforce gap of 275 jobs, however, the actual number is expected to be higher with casual and part-time positions, so there are going to be a lot of opportunities out there.”

The Disability Workforce Hub will be officially launched next month.